Pomegranate-Glazed Lamb with Carrots and Parsnips

Pomegranate-Glazed Lamb with Carrots and Parsnips

Last week Lyn went shopping for a few things on her own and there were a few impulse buys. We all do that I did it yesterday and ended up with American Chop Suey nice comfort food for a snowy day. Anyway she got a 4 lb. boneless leg of lamb. I used 1 lb to make ground lamb last weekend for Gyros. Today we made this roast and it was well worth the impulse buy well worth it.

Ingredients

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cup Pomegranate juice
  • 3 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground

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Veggies

  • 4 whole carrots, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced – STEVE NOTE I did not have parsnip so I used potatoes
  • 1/3 cup Water

Lamb

  • 3 lb Boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 teaspoon Minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon Cumin seeds – STEVE NOTE I did not have used ground Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon Chopped fresh mint

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How:

Look for a mini boneless leg of lamb roast that weighs approximately 3 lb. These small roasts sometimes come prepacked in netting. For a leaner, cleaner tasting lamb we like to trim the fat off the surface. This requires removing the netting, trimming the fat, and retying your roast. The extra work is definitely worth it.

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine pomegranate juice, sugar, 1/2 tsp. of the black pepper, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.

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Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until mixture is thick and syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 20 to 25 minutes.

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3. Cut carrots and parsnips in half lengthwise and then cut into 3-inch pieces. Place in a microwave-safe bowl with water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and toss vegetables with 2 Tbsp. of the pomegranate glaze.

4. Place lamb in the center of a large baking dish or roasting pan. Rub garlic into roast. Season with 1/2 tsp. of the salt, remaining 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and cumin seeds. Brush the top and sides of lamb liberally with pomegranate glaze. Distribute vegetables and their liquid around the roast. STEVE NOTE – I rubbed the roast with garlic and the spices wrapped in plastic wrap and set in refrigerator for a few hours. Took out and let get to room temperature.

5. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring vegetables once or twice, until meat is cooked to about 115 degrees. Brush roast with any remaining glaze (if it has thickened, microwave for 15 seconds). Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Cook until meat begins to brown in spots and the temperature reaches about 125 degrees for medium-rare, 140 degrees for medium, and 160 degrees for well done, according to your preference (about 10 to 20 minutes).

6. If you prefer your lamb more well done and it begins to overbrown, lower heat to 475 degrees and cover meat loosely with foil.

7. Transfer lamb to cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, spread vegetables evenly over baking dish and return to oven to bake until all the juices have evaporated and vegetables have begun to caramelize, about 4 to 5 minutes; watch that they don’t burn. Remove baking dish from oven and stir butter and mint into the vegetables.

8. Remove strings and use a sharp knife to cut lamb into thin slices. Transfer vegetables and lamb to platter and serve warm.

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Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, September – October 2008
Reign On American Chop Suey  – Week 15

Reign On American Chop Suey – Week 15

Everyone has their own comfort foods, I have many but one of my favorites is American Chop Suey. This recipe is what I have come up with that is closest to what my mind remembers as my mother’s plus the red hot pepper flakes. The Pat’s are getting ready to grab the division and top place but they are playing in the nice warm weather, so as we  prepare for 8-12 inches of snow depending where you why not try this nice warm me up game time treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean Ground beef I MADE FOOD PROCESSOR GROUND BEEF
  • 1 onion chopped roughly
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper cored, seeded and chopped
  • 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 lb. box Elbow macaroni
  • Salt, pepper, oregano, basil, red-hot pepper flakes to taste about 1 tablespoon each
  • Ketchup (optional, not for me)

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How:

In a fry pan cook hamburger, onion, and celery until meat is browned and the veggies are limp but still have some crunch left. While browning chop up the beef into small chunks. Drain off the grease.

Step 1

Crush tomatoes by hand over the pan, pour in the juice from the can and the tomato sauce.

Add whatever spices you are comfortable with. I use salt, pepper, oregano, basil, (I suppose a short cut could be Italian seasoning mix) a good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes depends on your hotness taste. Add the chopped green pepper at this point I feel it kept them a little crunchier but I suppose you could add in the first step.

Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes.

step 2

Meanwhile, bring five quarts of water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook for about five minutes. The pasta should be aldente, not thoroughly cooked. Drain, return to pot and add the contents of the other pan. Gently simmer for five minutes to finish cooking the macaroni and to let it absorb the liquid.

Remove from heat, and put it to the side. I find that letting it sit for at least a half hour lets the flavors really come together I also stir occasionally to help cool and not over cook the pasta.

step 3

Ok now I was raised to top with ketchup when served but this is strictly optional, it just does not taste right to me without, what can I say?

step 4

Reign On Brown Rice Cruncy Oven Fried Fish – Week 7

Reign On Brown Rice Cruncy Oven Fried Fish – Week 7

Here is a variation of something I made a while back with a twist when it comes to the breadcrumbs. I think it is a healthier offering.

I’ve done with corn flakes, potato chips, panko and regular bread crumbs from package or home made and probably a few others.

Variation of Crunchy oven fired chicken Published September 1, 2008. From Cook’s Illustrated

This is very similar to how I do my chicken cutlets either pan-fried or baked minus a few ingredients.

Serves 4

To prevent overcooking, buy fish fillets at least 1 inch thick. The bread crumbs can be made up to 3 days in advance, cooled, and stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Serve with Sweet and Tangy Tartar Sauce (see related recipe) or lemon wedges. Steve tweak: If you have a skinny end of the fish you can always fold under to make it about the same thickness as the other so it cooks evenly.

Ingredients

  • About 2 cups of brown rice cereal – similar to Rice Krispies. Crunched up
  • 1/4 cup plus 5 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour Steve tweak: Whole wheat bread
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish (optional) Steve tweak: optional? Not in my opinion
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless cod fillet , or haddock fillet, or other thick white fish fillet (1 to 1 1/2 inches thick), cut into 3-4 pieces
  • Lemon wedges

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Instructions

  1. Place the brown rice Krispies in a plastic bag, let air out, take a rolling pin and roll over until most are crunched and palace in a pie plate.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Place 1/4 cup flour in second pie plate.
  4. In third pie plate, whisk eggs, horseradish (if using), mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until combined; whisk in remaining 5 tablespoons flour until smooth.
  5. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet. Dry fish thoroughly with paper towels and season with salt and pepper (optional but recommended to personal taste.) Dredge 1 fillet in flour; shake off excess. Using hands, coat with egg mixture. Coat all sides of fillet with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to fish. Transfer breaded fish to wire rack. Repeat with remaining 3 fillets.
  6. Bake fish until instant-read thermometer inserted into centers of fillets registers 140 degrees, 18 to 25 minutes. Using thin spatula, transfer fillets to individual plates and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

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Note: I have tried this type of rack and a very fine mesh rack, I feel the very fine mesh works much better.

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Cubano

Cubano

OK Every time I go to Tampa office there is this little restaurant in a strip mall that I insist on going to, I always get the Cuban sandwich. So as I watched the Pats defeat Tampa Bay last week I munched on this sandwich. I pretty much followed theirs but made a mistake in the rub and used whole grain mustard instead of ground. I was off just a little bit all weekend. Hey that’s a good excuse to try the pork again right?

Cubano Epicurious | August 2013

by Jose Garces
The Latin Road Home

Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches

ingredients

Roast Pork

  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt + 1 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground mustard
  • 2 lb boneless pork shoulder, tied in an even roll
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Spanish smoked sweet paprika

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Sandwich

  • 4 (6-inch) light crisp-crusted bakery rolls
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 lb best-quality domestic ham (unglazed), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 lb Swiss or Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 large dill pickle, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

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preparation

To cure the pork, combine 2 tablespoons of the salt with the sugar and ground mustard. Rub the mixture all over the meat, cover, and set it in the refrigerator to cure for 6 hours.

Place a rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 325°F.

To roast the pork, rinse it under cold running water to remove the seasoning. Pat dry with paper towels. Combine the Dijon mustard, mace, black pepper, paprika, and the remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Rub the mixture all over the meat. Set the pork in a roasting pan, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 175°F, about 45 minutes. (Mine took much longer) Allow the meat to cool completely before slicing.

To make the sandwiches, heat a sandwich press or griddle to medium-high. Split the bread lengthwise and pull it open. Spread the mustard on 1 side of each roll and layer on the roast pork, ham, cheese, and pickles. Spread the butter all over the outside of the sandwiches and griddle until the cheese is melted and the meats are warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. (Alternatively, wrap the sandwich in foil and toast in a 350°F oven for 5 to 7 minutes.) Slice each in half on the diagonal and serve.

You can press this as I did, eat it un-pressed or if you don’t have a press take two bricks wrap in tin foil heart in 500 degree oven for about 1/2 hour and use those to press.

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Source Information
Reprinted with permission from The Latin Road Home by Jose Garces, © 2012 Lake Isle Press

Epicurious.com © Condé Nast Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.

Crown Royal BBQ Sauce

Crown Royal BBQ Sauce

This sauce gets better with age. If time permits, keep it in the refrigerator a day or so to develop a deeper, richer taste.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 lg. sweet onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup Crown Royal
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 Tbs. salt
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs. Liquid Smoke
  • 1/3 tsp. Tabasco

How

Combine onion, garlic, and Crown Royal in a 3-quart saucepan. Saute’ until onion and garlic are translucent, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and light mixture; flame for 20 seconds. Add all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a medium simmer. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Run sauce through a medium strainer to remove onion and garlic bits if you prefer a smoother sauce. Cool and enjoy.

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

We bought some bone in chicken breast at Wholefoods they were not on our list but on sale. I am not a big white meat fan but it is better for you and Lyn does not like the dark meat I love her and I cater to her like most of the time. Anyway we already used the boneless chicken breast in the Carrot Orange Juice Chicken Noodle Soup and I had planned on doing something with it last night. I was surfing the net on my lunch break and found a few but this one from DadCooksDinner.com caught my eye, I did not have everything he used but had substitutes, onion for shallot, dried instead of fresh herbs and I added lemon juice. I did not notice the title until today when I went back to post. He did call it lemon herb sauce after all, but listed no lemon I took liberties, besides it would not be the first time someone else other than me or my Mom left out one ingredient.  Anyway this came out with crispy skin, moist and tender so good when Lyn walked in the door I said forget your special diet you just got to try this. She asked if I marinated in buttermilk it was so moist and tender. Like he said in his post he has pan seared oven roasted steak, pork etc. – a man after my own heart – he thought why not with chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breasts split, bone in and skin on
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. canola oil

You can adjust the salt and pepper to your taste, my wife is a pepper head so.

Pan Sauce

  • ¼  cup sweet onion, minced fine
  • ½  cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme (estimated – fresh would be better – a few sprigs)
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary (estimated – fresh would be better – a few sprigs)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½  tbsp. butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How:

Prepare the Chicken: Heat your oven to 350F. If the chicken breasts came with the rib section still attached, remove them- they might get too dried out. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Combine salt and pepper together and sprinkle the chicken all sides. Let rest at room temperature until the pan is heated.

Sear the chicken: Put the teaspoon of oil in your fry pan, and heat over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Swirl the oil around to coat the pan, then add the chicken, skin side down. Sear for 4 to 8 minutes, or until the skin is a dark golden brown. Flip the chicken and sear the bone side for 4 minutes.

Sear the chicken

*Searing time will depend on how crowded your pan is.  If your pan isn’t very crowded searing will take less time – 4 to 6 minutes.

Roast the Chicken: Move the pan to the oven and roast until the chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. You want to cook the chicken until it is just 160*F in the thickest part of the meat. (The best way to check this is with a remote probe thermometer.)  Remove the pan from the oven, and move the chicken to a serving plate. Keep the oven mitt on the handle this reminds you the handle and pan are still very hot. I have the scars to prove that I had brain fart moments.

Make the Sauce: Remember, the handle is still &*&^%!! Hot. Using an oven mitt or pot holder, put the pan over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan and sauté, stirring, for about 1 minute, until the onion is softened. Add the chicken stock and herbs, turn the heat to high. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen all the browned bits of chicken, bring to boil until the stock until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. The plate holding the chicken breasts will have some chicken juice on the bottom; add it to the pan. Turn off the heat, and remove the herb sprigs if you used fresh. Whisk the butter into the sauce, and add salt and pepper to taste. I am on a self imposed very low salt diet so I used the salt sparingly.

Spoon a teaspoon of sauce over each breast, then serve I also used over the asparagus.

Taken with cell phone

Taken with cell phone

Caramelized Acorn Squash Salad with Crispy Shallots.

Caramelized Acorn Squash Salad with Crispy Shallots.

The first time I had something similar to this they served with herb goat cheese on a bed of arugula. We had on hand crumbled feta, cut up oranges, pumpkin seeds, served on a bed of mixed greens. In fact it was at Stonewall Kitchen cooking class and they made a salad very similar this is my adaptation using what we had on hand. Here is a good site to read about varieties of winter squash. There were 2 of us and this made one fine meal, I even skipped dessert that night which for some reason this last year I have become a dessert person so strange to me.

acorn-squash

I apologize I was so into cooking that I forgot to take a picture in the pan while cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Acorn squash or any thin skinned winter squash – the thin skin allows you to eat it when cooked.
  • ¼- ½  cup hard apple cider – could use regular cider
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

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How:

Cut off the ends of the squash and scoop out the seed

Cut into ½ inch think rings.

Combine the sugar, salt, pepper and butter in a large bowl. Add the squash and coat.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and place the squash in a single layer. Add apple cider to pan. Allow squash to cook and apple cider to reduce until squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. While pan roasting, turn the squash with a spatula to be sure it browns evenly.

Things I might try next time –

  • I think next time I might melt the combination making it easier to coat the squash.
  • My pan was a little too small so I ended up using half rings to fit.
  • Cooking in batches to retain the circles
  • I might try roasting and flipping a few times next time

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Hard Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup hard apple cider
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice (about ½ orange)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (used our 18 year old)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

How

Bring cider, juice and honey to a boil in a small saucepan.

Cook 10 minutes or until reduced to about 2 tablespoons.

Pour into a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Add shallots, vinegar, Dijon salt and pepper stir with a whisk. Gradually add the olive oil stirring constantly with a whisk. Set aside.

Crispy Shallots

Ingredients

  • 1-2 shallots shaved into rings, used our new mandolin
  • I cup rice flour – gluten free which browns more quickly
  • Canal oil as needed.

How

Heat canola oil in a small sauté pan. Toss shallots in rice flour, shaking off excess. Fry rings until crispy and lightly golden. Remove from oil and season with salt. Drain on paper towel. To be honest the first batch burnt, the second was not quite crispy enough, and the next batch was perfect. Sound like a familiar story to you? I used the 2nd and third batch tossed the first. Learned you got to watch them cause they turn real quick.

Caramelized Acorn Squash Salad with Crispy Shallots.

Pork Chops with Cider, Horseradish Glaze

Pork Chops with Cider, Horseradish Glaze

I was shocked that Lyn choose bone in pan fried pork chops for her free meal this week. I always loved the taste of pan fried pork chops and the added treat of a bone to munch on it was like a dessert for me. Maybe she had too many of these growing up but being a nice Jewish kid pork did not make it to our table that often, we were reformed reformed Jews. There is something about pork and winter that go together.

Ingredients

forgot to leave out the horsradish for picture it is shy

forgot to leave out the horseradish for picture it is shy

Serves 2-4

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup hard or pressed apple cider
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly grated or prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

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Chops:

  • 4 bone-in loin pork chops, 1/2-inch thick, about 1 1/2 pounds total, at room temperature
  • Table salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Pork chops with Cider, horse radish  glaze

Garnish

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

1. Whisk the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl; set aside.

2. Trim any excess fat from around chops until you only have about 1/8 inch of fat. Pat chops dry with a paper towel and generously season them with salt and pepper.

3. Heat oil in a heavy, 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until oil starts to smoke. Add pork chops to the skillet and cook them until they are well-browned, about 3 minutes. Turn chops and cook 1 minute longer, then transfer them to a plate and pour off any fat in skillet.

4. Pour glaze into the skillet and bring it to a simmer. Cook until mixture thickens enough that your spatula leaves a trail when scraped across the pan, 2 to 4 minutes.

5. Return chops and any juices to the skillet; turn to coat both sides with glaze. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until the center of the chops registers 140 on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

6. Serve chops with glaze drizzled over them and sprinkled with dill.

Recipe adapted from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” by Deb Perelman.

Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup good quality balsamic vinegar – I used my 18 year old
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Trader Joe’s Dijon – for that extra kick
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

bbq-chicken-full

How:

Combine the first 8 ingredients together in a small saucepan, and stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15-20 minutes.

Recipe based on Giada DeLaurentiis

Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken

Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken

Summer time is time for beer butt chicken which I find a lot easier to make than setting up the Rotisserie on the BBQ and when winter rolls around I could still make it outside but roasting in the oven takes over. Besides I save grilling steaks and fish for winter standing in the snow is a lot better when you only have to flip a steak.  I liked the looks of this recipe when I saw it and the results were pretty darn good for a wicked easy recipe. I did substitute smoked paprika and went strictly with powders and as promised this was great. Next time I might add some brown sugar and try the paste slightly drier.  You should try this if you have a crock pot.

 Ingredients

  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3.5-4 lbs.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika – spicy or mild your choice
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional!)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

the rub

How:

Place all of your ingredients in a small bowl and stir in water by the teaspoon until a paste forms. Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and place the chicken in, breast side down in crock pot. Down rather than up give you moister breast.

Coat the chicken inside and out with the paste. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or on high 3.5-4.5 hours. Make sure the thickest part of the thigh registers at 180 degrees. Wow, how simple is that? You can use the leftover chicken to make a variety of recipes like Rotisserie Chicken Soup, Chicken salad or Chicken club sandwich.

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The only downside and it is minor that I found was the skin was not crispy Next time I will try breast up to see if the skin crisp any – Crispy skin was not as important to me since I mostly do not eat it. Aren’t I the healthy one?  Also my crock pot has a rack will try on that so it does not sit in drippings. Will update as time goes on.

chicken

Served with coleslaw and potato chips.

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Adapted from Busy Mom